Dustin Poirier defeated Anthony Pettis in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 120 event at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk via a third-round TKO in a blood-soaked affair.
In the first round, Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) looked to press, but Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) defended with a few powerful kicks to the legs and then up high.
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Poirier then changed the action to the floor and kept the legs wrapped as Pettis worked to a sitting position but Poirier stayed heavy on top. A Pettis sweep created a scramble, and the two moved back to the feet and both landed right-hand punches.
Pettis was hit with a great right punch which briefly stumbled him. Pettis answered with a spinning backfist that stunned his opponent and the bell ended the round.
In the second, Poirier turned to the takedown early, getting the fight to the floor and scored with a few big elbows from the top, slicing open Pettis. With blood streaming down his face and impacting his vision.
Pettis then spun inside to take top position and scored with a few big punches and elbows. As the round went on both men were covered in blood and battling for position.
They both managed to return to their feet where Pettis scored a takedown but was unable to control Poirier. With blood pooling on the face of Pettis, referee Keith Peterson called time and brought the doctor in to take a look.
The fight was allowed to continue and in the final seconds of the round Pettis locked Poirier in a triangle choke but he survived until the bell.
At the start of the third both men looked battered and after both landing strikes, Poirier went for a takedown. Pettis tried to scramble free, but Poirier quickly slipped around to the back and locked into a body triangle.
As Pettis tried to spin inside the hold, Poirier managed to mount and forced his opponent to verbally submit due to an apparent injury, resulting in a TKO finish.
“It was weird,” Poirier said afterwards. “I thought I was going to get the head-and-arm or rear-naked choke. He was hurt, and I felt the power leave him. You know the point in a fight when a guy gets broken. I do that to a lot of these guys.
“I’m a nasty dude. I love this. This is what I live for. The talking, calling people out and acting crazy? That’s not what I do. I fight.”
UFC Norfolk results:
Dustin Poirier def. Anthony Pettis via TKO (injury) at 2:08 of R3
Matt Brown def. Diego Sanchez via KO (elbow) at 3:44 of R1
Andrei Arlovski def. Junior Albini via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Cezar Ferreira def. Nate Marquardt via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Raphael Assuncao def. Matthew Lopez via KO (punch) at 1:50 of R3
Clay Guida def. Joe Lauzon via TKO (punches) at 1:07 of R1
Marlon Moraes def. John Dodson via split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)
Tatiana Suarez def. Viviane Pereira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Sage Northcutt def. Michel Quinones via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nina Ansaroff def. Angela Hill via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Sean Strickland def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Jake Collier def. Marcel Fortuna via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Karl Roberson def. Darren Stewart via submission at 3:41 of R1